Homeless At Christmas: Day Two

21 December 2011, 06:00

All week on Heart, we're focussing on homelessness in Cambridgeshire.

New figures from the charity Shelter show that 3,510 children in the East of England will wake up on Christmas day homeless.

Most will spend the festive season in temporary accommodation, such as a refuge or a hostel.

Kay Boycott, Shelter's Director of Communications, Policy and Campaigns said: "It's simply not right that in an affluent nation like ours, thousands of children in the East of England will wake up on Christmas day wanting nothing more than a permanent roof over their head.

We cannot underestimate the damage homelessness has on children's lives.

They often miss out on vital schooling because they are shunted from place to place and many become ill by the poor conditions they are forced to live in."

Some young people will spend Christmas in hostels across the country run by the YMCA.

During the last year 140 different young people, aged between 16 and 25 years old, have spent time at Time Stop, a YMCA hostel in Peterborough.

You can listen to an interview with Glenn Simmons, the YMCA's Senior Housing Manager for Cambridge and Peterborough, below.

Glenn talks about the issues that young people who arrive at the hostel are dealing with, how hostel staff work with young people to get their lives back on track, and how young people are taught new skills during their time at Time Stop.

Glenn Simmons talks to Heart's Tom Horn.

Click here to visit the Time Stop website.

The phone number for Time Stop Peterborough is 01733 373 186.

The phone number for the YMCA in Cambridge, based at Queen Anne House, is 01223 273 813.